If you’ve ever gotten lost in the tile circles above St. Jude Chapel on Main while in a street-facing seat at Americano, or wondered who signed off on those 49 bronze cows who came to mark South Griffin Street at Young Street, D writers and designers mapped out the interactive public art guide for you with all the essential backstories.
Now, I’m a devoted walk-taker, when the temp hits between 32 and 97 degrees. Perhaps noted city explorer Zac Crain goes harder. But on mornings like this one I was not out wandering. The Art Walk project our colleagues undertook got me thinking about a few more pieces that aren’t as out in the open but are still a part of Dallas’ visual identity for its citizens and visitors alike. The first ones that came to mind were made by Texas artists for Love Field or DFW Airport, where there also happens to be central heat and/or air.
North Texas Sunrise mural, Love Field
This wall of 300,000 ceramic tile pieces was installed in March 2013 to greet air travel passengers with Texas’ two greatest amenities: its turn-of-day celestial shows, and the hardy native prairie plants underneath. Dixie Friend Gay represents Hop Clover, Purple Coneflower, Queen Anne’s Lace and Mexican Hat against a creamy-hued, stage-two sunrise that, ideally, would make those winding through the security line feel as if they were instead lounging beside White Rock Lake. It’s impossible to calm someone whose plane will be over New Mexico by the time the guy ten people ahead manages to find his ID. But Gay’s mosaic does make the notion of being stuck in Dallas a little more palatable. And the larger-than-life-sized blooms based on Gay’s photos of North Texas wildflowers command attention to a fight in which East Dallas residents are still engaged, in protecting the blackland prairie near the water.
Untitled, DFW Airport, Terminal D gate 8
The floor medallion in DFW’s lux international terminal is by local artist Viola Delgado, whose work can be found at the Latino Cultural Center, Stevens Park and Tolbert Elementary Schools, and other places. She told the Dallas Observer she installed the piece in 2005 before the gate number was determined — which is either eerie synergy or a testament to a planner’s perception in assigning D8 at that spot, because there are eight swirls, eight hands and eight points in the 20-foot piece.
Campanile Window, Love Field Airport
Originally installed at the Bell Tower of the beautiful, mid-century, almost-lakeside Trinity Lutheran Church on Gaston Ave. in 1960, this stained glass window was created by the late artist Octavio Medellin, who showed work in Dallas and Fort Worth’s major museums, and at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His piece was rescued from the church before it was razed to make way for a new YMCA at the site in East Dallas. (The original had to go when a shopping center took its spot.)